WWE Draft 2011: Zack Ryder and 30 WWE Superstars Who Might Get Released

Eric KanesContributor IIIApril 24, 2011

WWE Draft 2011: Zack Ryder and 30 WWE Superstars Who Might Get Released

0 of 27

    What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes and as we all know, the WWE draft is coming up as it has become a yearly tradition for WWE. However, the draft is not the only thing that WWE holds every April. The other major event is Spring Cleaning, where five to 10 wrestlers get the pink slip.

    Nobody likes losing their job. I don't, you don't, the next guy doesn't. However, as a business, it is something that WWE must do every year. In order to make space for some of the younger guys who are in FCW, WWE has to get rid of some of the current performers on the main roster.

    Now, I've seen quite a few of these lists on Bleacher Report already. What I've noticed, though, is that more often than not it's just a list of mid-carders. We already know who the mid-carders are, though.

    Now, as the most electrifying man on Bleacher Report, I felt that it was my duty to take all of those mid-card names thrown out and take a look at the realistic chances of them getting the pink slip. Rather than simply list the names, we're going to take this a step further and evaluate each superstar's position within the company.

    Also, just to note, if you have to ask why I didn't include somebody, chances are that they shouldn't have been on this list in the first place.

    And now, without any further ado, let's begin.

Chavo Guerrero, Goldust, Mark Henry and William Regal

1 of 27

    Chavo Guerrero, Goldust, Mark Henry and William Regal have been grouped together here because they are all in the same position within the company. They are all in their late 30s or early 40s and on the brink of retirement.

    However, what most people fail to see is that these guys have been wrestling for nearly two decades. If they choose to continue wrestling, they can work with some of the younger guys at house shows and help them get better. If they choose to retire, they can be utilized backstage as trainers. In William Regal's case, he could take his extensive knowledge to the commentary booth.

    Either way, don't expect any of these guys to be gone from the company any time soon.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Chris Masters

2 of 27

    Don't be fooled by Chris Masters' age. Chris Masters may be only 28 years old, but he has been in this business for over 12 years. Similar to the four veterans in the previous slide, Masters is somebody who the newer guys can work with at house shows. He's one of the people that fills in when guys like John Cena, Triple H and Rey Mysterio aren't on the road. People are always wondering why he's still with the company. Well, there's actually a reason why they've kept him around for so long.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Curt Hawkins

3 of 27

    Curt Hawkins has been with WWE for nearly four years now, and he has had some success as a tag team competitor, winning the tag team titles alongside Zack Ryder and being in "La Familia," Edge's stable, for nearly a year.

    However, ever since Hawkins' latest partner, Vance Archer, got released, Hawkins has been seldom used on Superstars and not used on SmackDown at all. He's not a bad wrestler at all, but he just hasn't been able to really get over. Unless Hawkins gets teamed up with Zack Ryder or Trent Barreta, I don't see what else WWE could have for him to do.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

David Hart Smith

4 of 27

    Here is another superstar who suffered the effect of a tag team split. DH Smith was part of a fairly popular faction alongside Tyson Kidd and Natalya until, for whatever reason, the team broke up.

    Ever since then, Kidd has made a few RAW appearances while Smith hasn't been seen at all. Despite being a second generation superstar, it doesn't look like WWE has anything for him to do at the moment.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Drew McIntyre

5 of 27

    To be honest, I have absolutely no clue how Drew McIntyre's name keeps being thrown out during these discussions. I get that WWE has thrown some curveballs in the past, like with MVP and Kaval, but those releases were requested.

    WWE isn't just going to fire people for fun and give out pink slips like they're candy. Drew McIntyre is much higher on the card than most of the other people on this list. Until somebody provides a compelling argument, I'm not even going to consider this one.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Evan Bourne

6 of 27

    I can definitely see both sides of the spectrum here. On one hand, with the debut of Sin Cara, Evan Bourne may have lost a lot of his appeal. There are also plenty of guys on the indy scene who have similar flashy styles.

    However, Evan Bourne is more than just flash. Evan Bourne is in a similar position as Chris Masters, as he is a veteran who can work with the younger guys at house shows. His athleticism and in-ring ability are also unmatched.

    I can find 1,000 guys on the indy scene who can do a bunch of flips, but somebody who can work matches as well as Bourne? There's not too many of those. Don't expect to see Bourne parting ways with WWE anytime soon.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Hornswoggle

7 of 27

    In my opinion, Hornswoggle's act adds nothing to the show. Try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of his fans, though. As despised as he may be by the IWC, he is still a popular act amongst the younger fans.

    However, this year, Hornswoggle's act may have really run its course. Finlay has already been released and there are no more guest hosts for Hornswoggle to appear in segments with. I really cannot see what the writers can possibly plan for him. However, considering how over he is, don't get too excited.

    Chances of Getting Released: Moderate

Husky Harris

8 of 27

    Husky Harris may have been pulled off TV and the New Nexus stable, but that doesn't mean that he's done just yet. Keep in mind that Harris is still only 23 years old. Also keep in mind that he is the son of Mike Rotunda (IRS), who is a road agent on RAW.

    The primary reason that he was pulled off TV is because of weight issues. Once he loses some weight and improves in the ring a little, expect to see him back in no time.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

JTG

9 of 27

    Similar to The Hart Dynasty, it makes me scratch my head when I think about WWE splitting up Cryme Tyme. Why would they do that when Cryme Tyme was the most over tag team of the roster? Oh, well. There's no going back now.

    Shad was given the pink slip six months ago and even if he was brought back, the tag team division is already dead. I don't see where JTG fits in given the current state of the company.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Kofi Kingston

10 of 27

    Other than Drew McIntyre, this is the other mind-boggling one. The belief amongst some of the IWC members is that Kofi Kingston is getting released because all of his merchandise on WWEShop.com was put on clearance. Well, that's actually because WWE has released new merchandise for him. By that logic, John Cena should've been released at least a dozen times by now. It is safe to say that Kofi Kingston is not going anywhere.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Matt Striker

11 of 27

    As a wrestler, Matt Striker was never going to go very far. However, in 2009, WWE made a very wise move and Striker went from being a mediocre wrestler to a brilliant commentator. His knowledge and witty remarks easily made him one of the best; certainly much better than the likes of Jerry Lawler and Booker T.

    However, backstage politics got the best of him earlier this year. Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole did not want to work with him anymore and were trying to avoid him backstage. Vince McMahon was also unhappy with his use of "holy s***" during the Royal Rumble. Ever since then, Striker has been replaced by Booker T. I think it's safe to say that he's not marking out anymore, bro.

    Nonetheless, Striker is still working. Most of us (myself included) don't watch NXT but he is still the co-host of the show. There's also the possibility that Booker T will return to the ring. Josh Matthews and Michael Cole are also working two shows right now. It makes sense with Michael Cole with his "Voice of the WWE" character but Josh Matthews keeps showing up on RAW inexplicably. Striker will have to return sooner or later.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Melina

12 of 27

    This one is pretty simple. Melina has been causing backstage problems for both Trish Stratus and John Morrison in recent weeks. This isn't the first time, either. The John Morrison/Melina saga has been going for several years now. Melina isn't irreplaceable either.

    Realistically, both Melina and Morrison are at fault here. However, this goes back to last year's event where both Shane Helms and Chris Jericho were arrested for a drunken incident. Shane Helms was released within two weeks, while Chris Jericho went on to become world champion.

    While John Morrison will not become world champion, you get the point. He's an upper mid-carder that still has something to offer. The same cannot be said about Melina.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Michael Tarver

13 of 27

    This one really makes me wonder. Michael Tarver recovered from his injury nearly five months ago. Why hasn't he been put into The New Nexus or The Corre since then? We've seen him roaming around backstage, but nothing has been made of those segments.

    Considering that he was one of the better workers in The Nexus, it makes no sense to have him in FCW while a guy like Michael McGillicutty takes his place. Nonetheless, the fact that WWE has made no effort with him since his return can mean only one thing.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Primo

14 of 27

    While most people see Primo as just another lower mid-carder, I see him as being just a notch above some of the guys on this list. Primo is currently in a tag team with Zack Ryder that gets consistent air time on Superstars (more than can be said for JTG or Curt Hawkins). Primo has also been working with the newcomer, Sin Cara, at WWE house shows.

    Not only that, but his brother, Tito Colon, who is currently in FCW, is close to being called up to the main roster. Obviously, Primo would be one of the first people that he would work with. Despite his position on the card, there are still many uses for Primo, which is why he isn't expendable.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Rosa Mendes

15 of 27

    I've seen Rosa Mendes' name thrown out when discussion about Spring Cleaning arises. Is there any particular reason, though? I don't think so. She's obviously not the best worker in the world, but she's really not that much worse than Alicia Fox, Kaitlyn, The Bella Twins, etc. She's just another generic diva. This one could really go either way.

    Chances of Getting Released: Moderate

Skip Sheffield

16 of 27

    The only reason that Skip Sheffield has made these lists is because of his injury. Other than that, there's really no reason to even consider Sheffield. He's got all the potential in the world. He's got mic skills and in-ring skills that are above average.

    He's also got that size that Vince McMahon loves. It has even been said that McMahon sees him as the potential No. 2 baby face in the company, behind John Cena. There is absolutely no way that Sheffield will get released just because of an injury.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Ted DiBiase

17 of 27

    Remember when people were predicting that Ted DiBiase would win the Royal Rumble because he starred in "The Marine 2"? Yeah. Neither does DiBiase. His stock has really dropped in the past year.

    Don't be fooled by that, though. He may not be receiving a push right now, but there are still some uses for him. He could be paired up with Brett DiBiase, his brother who is currently in FCW. He could be built up as the challenger for the US or Intercontinental title. The mid-card scene isn't very strong on either show. Either way, as long as there's a use for him, don't expect him to get the pink slip.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

The Great Khali

18 of 27

    The Great Khali may be on his last legs. The Great Khali's character may be stale. However, that does not take away from his popularity in India one bit. He's someone who is constantly doing media work in his country for WWE. Furthermore, when he did not show up to an autograph signing last spring, a riot broke out. If that's not an indication of his popularity, I don't know what is.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

The Usos

19 of 27

    Vince hates tag teams.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Todd Grisham

20 of 27

    Back in September of last year, things were going great for Todd Grisham as he was the main play-by-play commentator on SmackDown. However, Vince McMahon was reportedly unhappy with the SmackDown announce team so Michael Cole was brought in. McMahon remained unhappy with Todd Grisham's work and Grisham was also replaced by Josh Matthews within a month.

    Todd Grisham is still a commentator on NXT and an occasional backstage interviewer on SmackDown. However, with guys like Scott Stanford and Jack Korpela around, it would not be hard to replace The Grish.

    Chances of Getting Released: Moderate

Trent Barreta

21 of 27

    Is Trent Barreta a bad worker? Absolutely not. However, he has simply failed to connect with the audience during his tenure with the company, especially since his partner was released. It does not look like WWE has any plans for him in the near future.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Tyler Reks

22 of 27

    Tyler Reks finds himself in a position similar to Trent Barreta and DH Smith. He's been around for a while and he has some potential but he just hasn't connected with the audience.

    Chances of Getting Released: High

Tyson Kidd

23 of 27

    Tyson Kidd is yet another lower mid-carder without any plans for the near future. The one thing that separates Kidd from the others, though, is his proficiency in the ring. He's definitely somebody that can put on some fantastic matches against the likes of John Morrison or Daniel Bryan. Could he be released? Absolutely. However, I'm not quite sure that WWE would want to give up a talent like him.

    Chances of Getting Released: Moderate

Vladimir Kozlov

24 of 27

    The stock in my fellow Russian has definitely dropped a considerable amount ever since he turned face. He went from being booked like a badass and working world title matches against Triple H and Edge to being a comedy act featured in guest host segments. Either way, he's still being used (and quite often, too) so I think it's safe to say that he'll be sticking around.

    Some think that his "injury" at WrestleMania Axxess was done to write him out of storylines. However, he was still sent to Europe to work the tour while several others were not.

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Yoshi Tatsu

25 of 27

    Similar to The Great Khali, Yoshi Tatsu represents a major demographic. Considering that wrestling is pretty big in Japan, though, Yoshi is not as big as Khali. This one could go either way.

    Chances of Getting Released: Moderate

Zack Ryder

26 of 27

    And finally, the one everyone has been talking about. We've all seen Zack Ryder's YouTube videos and the potential that he has. We all know what he could bring to the table.

    In fact, ever since a Zack Ryder sign was confiscated on RAW, the WWE Facebook page has been bombarded by Zack Ryder fans with comments such as "If Zack Ryder gets released, we riot."

    A lot of people think that his Internet popularity will go ignored. However, don't be so quick to make those assumptions. Zack Ryder's YouTube videos each get more weekly views than WWE NXT and WWE Superstars combined. Zack Ryder's T-Shirts have sold out on WWEShop.com. His popularity is pretty blatant with the Facebook page getting attacked. It would make absolutely no sense to release Zack Ryder right now.

    When Matt Hardy and Daniel Bryan got released, the WWE noticed the outrage and brought them back, making them even more popular. In a very similar scenario, Zack Ryder's YouTube videos might have just saved him.

    Woo Woo Woo. You know it, bro!

    Chances of Getting Released: Low

Conclusion

27 of 27

    In conclusion, here are the chances that each lower mid-carder has of getting the pink slip:

     

    Low

    Chavo Guerrero

    Chris Masters

    Drew McIntyre

    Evan Bourne

    Goldust

    Husky Harris

    Mark Henry

    Matt Striker

    Primo

    Skip Sheffield

    Ted DiBiase

    The Great Khali

    Vladimir Kozlov

    William Regal

    Zack Ryder

     

    Moderate

    Hornswoggle

    Rosa Mendes

    Todd Grisham

    Tyson Kidd

    Yoshi Tatsu

     

    High

    Curt Hawkins

    David Hart Smith

    JTG

    Melina

    Michael Tarver

    The Usos

    Trent Barreta

    Tyler Reks

     

    Final Thoughts

    Only five to 10 people will get released. WWE isn't going to release the entire mid-card. I don't know where names like Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston came from, but this article addressed them. The above list should give you a good look at the superstars likely to get the pink slip.

    If you enjoyed this article, check out my other article on the 2011 WWE draft. Also, make sure to add me on Facebook to be notified of all other articles.

    On a side note, there will be no Smack Talk this week. SmackDown was pretty much a repetition of everything we've been seeing over the past several months. Hopefully, things change after next week's draft.

    I will be right back here this Tuesday with my weekly RAW Review but until then, I'm out!